Throwback Thursday: Falcons abuzz over uniforms

John Abraham, Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are ready for Throwback game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

John Abraham, Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are ready for the Throwback game. You can get your Retro jersey for $111.11. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

The Branch — There has been a different feel to this week’s preparation.

It started on Monday, when red helmets were placed in every player’s locker.

The team will pay homage to the inaugural 1966 team, with a black jersey, white pants and red helmet this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

How many interceptions will Jake Delhomme throw against the Falcons?

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“We’re going to look real clean,” defensive end John Abraham said. “This is my first time ever getting to wear a Throwback. So, I’m real excited about this.”

They will wear them again when Tampa Bay comes to the Georgia Dome on Nov. 29.

The team’s website has gone Throwback, showing all pictures in black and white.

This is a hot leisure suit (actually is a 1970s era style).

This is a hot leisure suit (actually is a 1970s era style).

It was suggested that all of the members of the communications department dress in Throwback leisure suits with a Falcons logo emblazoned on the pocket.

They didn’t think it was a good idea. But since the players have to go Throwback, perhaps the rest of the staff should, too. Of course, they want the fans to go Throwback and buy the jerseys.

The original helmets will also have that Georgia Tech gold stripe. They only wore those helmets for one season. (UPDATE: They wore the Gold Stripe on the helmets through the 1970 season, according my man Frank Kleha, the senior director of media relations.) The Smith’s had to add some Georgia Tech flavor to the decidedly University of Georgia looking, red, black and white uniforms.

The Falcons don’t want Jake Delhomme to have a Throwback game. He’s  in a funk. But if he flashes back to circa 2003, he might regain his passing touch.

Delhomme, 34, had reconstructive elbow surgery two years ago. The whispers about his lack of arm strength get louder with each interception.

He threw  five interceptions and lost a fumble against Arizona in the playoffs last season. Carolina coach John Fox pointed out that the game was “nine months ago” on the conference call with the Atlanta media.

The Eagles got after him in the season opener as the  defending NFC South champions were defeated 38-10.

Delhomme was pulled after four more interceptions and a fumble.

Word is that the Cheerleaders are wearing Throwback uniforms, too. With Throwback hairdos, to match.

Word is that the Cheerleaders are wearing Throwback uniforms, too. With Throwback hairdos, to match.

This has the makings of a real “Throwback game” as the Panthers might not attempt a forward pass.

“My thing is that I know he’s going to have a good game,” Abraham said. “After a quarterback plays like that he wants to play well. Also, I think they are going to try to run the ball a little bit more.  That was their key thing last year with the two good backs they have. They are going to try to run it, I think.”

How are you going to the Throwback game? Watching it in black and white? Getting one of the jerseys (isn’t that what this really about)? Or just going to pull out your modern jersey and go to the game? The team is 8-1 at home under Coach Mike Smith. Are they risking the record by wearing some uniforms that they went 3-11 (1-6 at home) in?

101 comments Add your comment


September 17th, 2009
12:29 am


September 17th, 2009
12:39 am

“The Smith’s had to add some Georgia Tech flavor to the decidedly University of Georgia looking, red, black and white uniforms.”

I think you can see the gold with a magnifying glass. Will you be covering the Miami vs. GT game tomorrow? I want a whole photo slideshow like you did when UGA went and played OK St.


September 17th, 2009
1:00 am

MY sincerest apologies. Thought this was a Schultz blog! Good stuff, however.

Bill Heller

September 17th, 2009
1:22 am

I’ll celebrate throwback day by dialing up some old girlfriends for a little howdy doody…

Dr. Warren

September 17th, 2009
3:13 am

Those red helmets are an indelible symbol of growing up in Atlanta in the 70’s and 80’s. What a great place it was to be, despite all the losing. I remember being so thrilled each time Howard Cosell even mentioned the word Falcons on MNF–maybe once a season? How the world, Atlanta, and our city’s visibility have changed…No one calls accidentally calls us “Atlantic” anymore, as Howie one did.


September 17th, 2009
3:51 am

Uh Mr. Ledbetter you need to check your facts a little closer. The ‘old gold’ stripes were a part of the Falcons helmet through the 1969 season. It was dropped prior to the start of the ‘70 season for some reason, maybe due to the uniform change of 1971. However the helmets were worn for the 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 seasons. I have found that the Falcons webpage isn’t the most accurate when it comes to this type of thing the fans are a little more in tune. That’s probably due to the fact that there aren’t many (if any) people still around the team that would know.

That being said I’m looking forward to this week. These are truly THE throwback uniforms and I hope they are adopted as the alternate instead of that hideous all black.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

September 17th, 2009
6:06 am

I’m jazzed to see the game. The uni’s will be fun to see, but I’m more pumped to see how the D and the O work adjustments from week one into the game plan against Carolina. The O will be fine tuned a bit. The D will be fine tuned as well.
Here’s to hoping we open up a can on Carolina!


September 17th, 2009
6:17 am

Count me as one who wants to see the throwback look become permanent. I have never liked the new uni’s….especially since Mike Vick had such a significant say-so in their design.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 17th, 2009
7:06 am

Falcon 60: Will double check the gold stripe fact. Media lore has them around for just a year.


September 17th, 2009
7:09 am

I will celebrate by finding someone who sells Carling Black Label, Blatz, Schoenling, Weidamann or Mickey’s Malt beer and enjoy the game and the memories.

Burger Brian

September 17th, 2009
7:15 am

Fox said they are dispensing with the screens and going back to their staple ~ “the draw play” get ready for the kitty cats to run right at us. Load the box and make Delhomie throw…preferably to a Red helmet!

Mike Lum

September 17th, 2009
7:33 am

I am all for making the throwbacks the every game uniform…what an improvement they are!


September 17th, 2009
7:44 am

Great lookin’ uni’s. Need to make ‘em permanent.


September 17th, 2009
7:44 am

Love the throwback uni’s; LOVE the throwback cheerleader “hot pants” and hair do’s uni’s!


September 17th, 2009
7:56 am

Whatever… still takes the players and coaches doing what they’re supposed to do to win……this is just another money making scheme for the owners.


September 17th, 2009
8:01 am

Wearing my black Falcons polo with the old logo for throwback. .wife will be probably still wear her Brian Finneran jersey, but don’t know for sure. I am in agreement with others who would like to see the team in these uni’s on a regular basis.


September 17th, 2009
8:03 am

Now if we can just bring back Tommy Nobis. Greatest NFL linebacker ever.


September 17th, 2009
8:06 am

Love the old school uniforms and helmets! I’ve been a fan since 1980 aka Steve Bartkowski and William Andrews! Love it man!!! I would love it if they would bring them back and 86 the new uniforms! Never liked the new bird logo adapted in 2003. He looks fat and out of shape! The old school bird was all business!!! Anyway…thanks for bringing the old uniforms and helmets back Jedi Master Arthur Blank! You guyz Rock!


September 17th, 2009
8:09 am

Just read your article on Chevis Jackson’s demotion. .he has no idea why? Does he remember the San Diego game? All those guys with the ball in hand running by on third and long? No idea, my bony . . .

F-105 Thunderchief

September 17th, 2009
8:11 am

I think the Falcons should go back to the red helmets. Keep the updated bird, but lose the black, which was a Smith family era ploy by that clown Jerry Glanville to Raiderize the Falcons. All Glanville vestiges should be erased forever.

Gwinnett Fred

September 17th, 2009
8:15 am

Putting an END to the color controversy, if you check the 1969 Falcons Media Guide on page 2, it says the team colors are: Red, Black, White and Old Gold.

So yes, it was for more than one year.

If the AJC doesn’t have a collection of Falcons Media Guides dating back that far, feel free to contact me to ask questions that you need a REAL research library to separate fact from fiction.


September 17th, 2009
8:17 am

Thanks Gwinnett Fred….I knew I was correct.


September 17th, 2009
8:17 am

A cool idea, but still merely a marketing campaign. As long as they win it doesn’t really matter what they wear. This game however, scare me. The Panthers coming off of a blow out will be looking to rebound. I hope our D shows up like they did last week.

Gwinnett Fred

September 17th, 2009
8:23 am

You da man F-60, glad to have your back, and I agree – THESE should be the permanent Falcon jerseys with the Bartkowski era jersey being the alternative one.

Glad my Media Guide collection finally paid off!!!

GO BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 17th, 2009
8:24 am

It’s a marketing deal, yes…….just like the uniform change currently in place. It’s always about the money. Personally it means a lot to have uniforms that are good looking and the originals were the best. I really didn’t understand the change and don’t like our current ones. Funny how people equate that with a culture change but it never happend in Green Bay, Indy, Pittsburgh (much), or the Chicago. And the Giants ditched their horrible unis for the classic Giant togs from the ’60’s. I say go back and stay back.

Gwinnett Fred

September 17th, 2009
8:28 am

I don’t think I ever enjoyed MOnday Night Football any more than this past week with the Patriots, Bills, Raiders & Chargers all wearing their original jerseys.

What great memories that brought back – the only thing missing was Howard Cosell.


September 17th, 2009
8:29 am

I just want a W in the win lost column!!


September 17th, 2009
8:29 am

I know…I’m gonna really go “throwback” and listen to the game on an AM radio station…


September 17th, 2009
8:30 am

I might “throwup”!…….

Chef montuer

September 17th, 2009
8:40 am


September 17th, 2009
8:54 am

WHAT F-105 said:

“I think the Falcons should go back to the red helmets. Keep the updated bird, but lose the black, which was a Smith family era ploy by that clown Jerry Glanville to Raiderize the Falcons. All Glanville vestiges should be erased forever.”


September 17th, 2009
8:58 am

I love the uni’s , wish they would go back to red helmets!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 17th, 2009
9:06 am

Agree, the uniforms of the 80’s should be the permanent ones. I loved the uniforms and the helmets. Never have been a favorite of the back/black combination.


September 17th, 2009
9:10 am

I don’t care what they wear – just win baby!

I Bleed White and Old Gold

September 17th, 2009
9:26 am

I may just be old and forgetful, but I remember the Falcons original team colors were four; red, black, white, and gold. When announced, I imagined uniforms somehow of equal color weights. Never happened. White and gold have never been a big part of Falcon colors. Always been a disappointment to me.


September 17th, 2009
9:30 am

Unlike some of the more seasoned fans here I like the throwbacks because they are throwbacks that we don’t wear every game. If we were to do throwbacks I would like the red jerseys instead.

Gritz Blitz

September 17th, 2009
9:44 am

I’ll be there with my red Steve Bartkowski uniform and my vintage red hard hat with the original logo on it. I personally would love to see them return to red helmets with the old logo, red jerseys and silver pants on a permanet basis, or at the very least make the throwbacks the alternate home uniform and let’s see them twice a year every year.


September 17th, 2009
9:48 am

Make the “throw back” uniforms permanent. Lose the Vick Bird. Go back to the legendary symbol. Lose the all black. Return to the red helmets and jerseys.


September 17th, 2009
9:50 am

Cannon Ball Butler, Claude Humphreys, ZOOK, Tommmy Nobis, Charmin Harmon (sorta)-love it


September 17th, 2009
10:01 am

“D” to the “Led”…this is a bad move my man. AS IF, the Birds were successful in any uniform that dates back this far. Since we are throwing back, let me test some of you “bloggers” and detail some of the most uh…memorable moments in Falcons football history:

(1) Deion Sanders. Shows up late at Hartsfield after a holdout in Black sweatsuit with giant gold ropes around his neck whick is attached to jerry curls. Fields punt in first game…touchdown. Best player in Falcons history. Period. (we let him walk for nothing).

(2) Playoff game against Dallas…1981 maybe? Danny White and company beat us on a late TD. We had the game in the bag. Bartkowski and Co. lose again. Truly heartbreaking.

(3) Charles Dimry. The antithesis of the aforementioned Primetime. Gives up 5 TD passes to Montana and Rice. Looks REALLY BAD in the process. Is eventually cut…catches on with other teams to become serviceable. I hope that Chris Houston does not go this route when we hit NE next week.

(4) Minnesota in 1998, of course. Sadly, Eugene in Miami two weeks later. A microcosm of the Falcons’s franchise: Up and Down…

(5) You like Jerious Norwood? Then you would LOVE Sylvester Stamps!! One of the toughest RB’s in Falcons history never to enter the ring of fame, fortune…or whatever they call it.

(6) Tony Cassillias (sp?). Strange guy. Period. Bill Fralic is the best offensive player in Falcons history…with W. Andrews and J. Anderson tied for second.

(7) The return of the aforementioned Neon Deion. Fights with Bad Moon, gets upset, picks of a poor pass thrown by the most heartless QB the Birds ever had…takes it back to the house (and synergistically proclaims that the Dome was his house). Birds lose and are embarrassed again…this time by one of their own.

(8) William Andrews. Best Falcons RB ever, period. Gerald Riggs, second best Falcons RB ever, period. Eric Pegram, should have been switched to Strong Safety, period.

(9) The look in Tony Graziani’s eyes when he had to fill in for Chris Chandler during a monday night game at Dallas. Fear just does not completely describe it…

(10) Aundray Bruce. Google him…sad indeed. Funny how the best Falcons defenders (other than PrimeTime) came from small schools ala the Hammer. Leads me to the conclusion that the Smiths and who ever was managing the team were CLUELESS.

…ok, back to 2009 (and I didn’t even mention Marion Campbell, Dan Henning or Terence Mathis who was the only WR that I ever saw wear a neckbrace…he played with the aforementioned Jeff George) . We are in a much better place. However, I would reconsider wearing this get-up…might call up bad memories!!!



September 17th, 2009
10:08 am

Alex Hawkins–Best Falcon ever !


September 17th, 2009
10:24 am

Deion the best player in Falcons history? Not even close. You can’t discount Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey, Buddy Curry, and so on. Deion was never a team player hence the reason he was a nomad. As far as William Andrews, if he hadn’t destroyed his knee there’s no telling how great he would’ve been. Best back without question.

As far as bad memories, yeah there are far too many but none had anything to do with uniforms. It had to do with personnel or coaching the latter to me being the biggest problem in the teams history. Norb Hecker? Why didn’t the Smith’s hire Don Shula? Oh yeah, they didn’t want to give partial ownership. Marion Campbell? Great DC, horrible HC. Glanville was a joke although 1991 was fun. Dan Henning was a complete jackass. Firing Leeman Bennett was one of the worst firings in history. The list goes on….

The playoff game against Dallas was January 4, 1981 and we never should’ve lost that game. Atlanta was (by even former Cowboys) thought to be the best team in the league. The play calling became conservative in the 2nd half and sealed our fate.

There are a lot of good memories just way too many bad ones.

GT Falcon

September 17th, 2009
10:29 am

Got the throwback jersey and I’ll be there. Go BIRDS!

A Realist

September 17th, 2009
10:31 am

The throwbacks are real bad (as in good). Looking forward to the game on Sunday and the win in the Falcons’ column.

Many of the former Falcons’ players have been mentioned in the blog and I’d like to add Billy “White Shoes” Johnson (WR) to the mix. That’s from the old Fulton County Stadium days sitting out in the cold weather and sipping on something smooth trying to stay warm. That part of outdoor football I don’t miss when I’m attending a game at the dome. Hopefully the new proposed stadium will have a retractable roof as part of the design.

Stephen Hawkins

September 17th, 2009
10:47 am

Doesn’t Eugene Robinson do the color play for the panthers??? He could put the icing on the cake by getting arrersted on Ponce De Leon for soliciting a prostitute Sat. Night!!


September 17th, 2009
10:50 am

The best throwback would be the red helmets with the white jerseys that they wore in the late ’70s-early ’80s (road unis??). That. Was. Sharp.


September 17th, 2009
10:59 am

Don’t forget hard-hitting Scott Case. Show some love to Fulton Kuykendall too.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 17th, 2009
11:02 am

What about Michael “P.S.” Haynes Hailmary catch in ‘91 to beat the 49ners! I loved it! He was a great WR from Northern Arizona.


September 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Real nice to see a good looking uniform the one we have now stinks!

Juan Querendon

September 17th, 2009
11:08 am

And the sheep follow along as usual.